Nashville Family Holds Candlelight Vigil On Anniversary Of Fatal Fire

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Updated By: Winnie Wright
January 22, 2015

Nashville, GA - It has been one year since three members of a Nashville, Georgia family were killed in a deadly fire at their home.

Tonight, three surviving members of that family and their friends paid their respects with a candlelight vigil. 39 year-old Doodle Garcia, 18 year-old Toby Hawkins, and 17 year-old Christopher Rowan died in a house fire this day last year. Doodle's widow, Kathy, says her husband died trying to save her son, Chris, who is very-much still with her.

"My son comes to me and talks to me. He comes in my house and calls my name, and we talk."

Garcia adds she takes things day-by-day since losing her husband and son, but is happy to know so many people in Nashville cared about them.

Winnie Anne Wright
January 24, 2014

Nashville, GA - Family, friends, and neighbors have gathered on Sheppard Avenue in Nashville to pay their respects to the three people who tragically lost their lives in a deadly house fire on Wednesday morning.

A candlelight vigil Friday served as the funeral in memory of Artero Garcia, Toby Hawkins, and Christopher Rowan. Family members say their bodies were so badly burnt, they had to be cremated.

"Toby was a good boy. He was my little precious baby. Now he's gone to be my angel to watch down for me. And I'll be with him again one day. And he's gonna have his little hands and he's gonna say 'come here momma', and I'm gonna go to my baby. And I'll be with my baby forever then. Nobody can take me away from here baby. Nobody", says Kathy Garcia, wife, mother and survivor of house fire.

Garcia and her son Jay say Wednesday's accident could have been prevented if the rental home had smoke detectors and the windows weren't nailed shut.

"A month ago my girlfriend made me pull the nails out of our window and that's the only way we got out. We had to climb out the window. We ran around here and I just seen smoke and my momma over there. I tried busting out the windows and tried getting my little brother, but the smoke was just too bad", says Jay Hawkins Jr.

Garcia says she hopes her family's loss will remind everyone to check their smoke detectors and also ensure that you can escape from a window in case of an emergency.